HOUSTON – Jose Luis Hernandez said he had all his week’s earnings in a cash envelope after cashing his check at a Wells Fargo off Tidwell and Interstate 59 in northeast Houston Friday night.
He drove home, but he said he didn’t notice what he now believes was a black sedan following him from the bank.
Hernandez’s neighbors’ surveillance video shows the black car pulling up as Hernandez was opening the gate to his driveway.
As Hernandez stood at his mailbox, a man in a red hoodie approaches Hernandez, he said. The man flinches when a dog starts running toward him and barking nonstop.
“I had $200 in my shirt pocket right here and $700 in my wallet in my back pocket,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez said the man immediately demanded money. The man pushed Hernandez into a ditch next to the mailbox when Hernandez refused to hand over his wallet. The entire time a small dog named Ace is barking and nipping at the man’s heels.
“I just started kicking and kicking,” Hernandez said.
While laying in the ditch, Hernandez said the thief, unable to get Hernandez’s wallet, settled for the $200 in his front shirt pocket, ripping the shirt as he snatched the money out of the pocket. The surveillance video shows the thief running away into an idling car.
The dog chased the thief while still barking and attempting to bite the man.
Hernandez said if it wasn’t for Ace, his neighbor’s dog, he thinks the thief would have “ripped him apart” while he was lying in the ditch. As far as Hernandez knows, the thief had a rock in his hand.
He said he is unsure if the thief had any other weapons.
Hernandez said he knows the attack could have been much worse and considers himself lucky.
He said he hopes by sharing his story; someone will recognize the thief or the car and turn them into the police. He wants to help prevent someone else from being followed home from the bank.